For US residents who wish to work, live, or retire in Portugal, the restrictions surrounding travel during the current COVID-19 crisis are not necessarily a barrier to your application. In fact, and specifically for those also looking to invest in the country, very little has changed regarding the popular Golden Visa program for U.S citizens.
The Golden Visa program helps would-be investors to side-step many of the requirements for conventional visas and residency, allowing you to start your application from the U.S and complete the process by entering Portugal at a later date. Here, we look at how investing in Portugal can help you gain a residence visa despite the fact that you may not be able to leave the U.S at the current time.
Investing in Portugal in 2020 – Are There Any Barriers to the Golden Visa Application?
Regardless of the current challenges caused by the global COVID-19 crisis, the Golden Visa in Portugal is not suspended. This means that you still have the option to begin your application from the U.S, with the only requirements being that you are present in Portugal for seven days on the first year of application, 14 days for the next two years and another 14 days for the last two years.
In essence, your Portugal residence visa application can begin today, and with most services available online, you can simply arrange the requisite visit to the country at a later date when travel is possible. Initially, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa from the Portuguese consulate in the U.S, however, the rest of the Golden Visa requirements and paperwork can be arranged for you from home.
In 2020, Portugal Golden Visa applicants have continued to enjoy success, with 54 residence permits issued by the governing body SEF in October alone. Over the course of the year, more than 600 Golden Visas have been issued, a figure that is comparable with those of “normal” years. Additionally, while uncertainty remains surrounding travel restrictions, the Portuguese government is striving to allow greater flexibility when dealing with applications.
The bottom line is, any U.S citizen looking to apply for the Golden Visa program should not be put off by the current situation and beginning the application process now is entirely possible. Read on to discover the benefits of starting your application today and how investing in Portugal provides the best route to citizenship for you and your family.
Citizenship by investment with the Golden Visa Program
For U.S citizens new to the Golden Visa program, then the simplest and best-value option for eligibility lies in investment funds. With entry as low as €350,000, investing in Portugal grants access to the Golden Visa program and its associated benefits through both private equity and venture capital funds. These professionally managed funds allow you to tailor your investment to your desired returns and potential risk level, ensuring investors can enjoy the following:
- Professionally Managed Funds support by the Portuguese Government
- Smaller investment when compared to real-estate
- Tax-efficient investment vehicle
- Minimum hurdle rates
- Strictly regulated investments that provide security
In addition to these unique benefits, the investment fund route means you will not have to be in Portugal to scout potential real estate investment opportunities, giving you greater control over when you travel to the country. However, using the investment funds route offers the same Golden Visa benefits as the conventional real estate route, including:
- A Portuguese passport
- After five years of legal residency, you can obtain permanent residency
- After six years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship
- Access to the Schengen Zone without recurring visa applications. The opportunity to live or work anywhere in Europe.
- High-quality education and healthcare systems
- 10-year tax relief program
- Golden Visa benefits are also available to family members, with the possibility of extending Portuguese residency to one generation up (parents) and one generation down (children).
The application process is relatively simple, and here at Planeur we are happy to guide you through the entire process, helping you access trusted investment funds and securing your Portuguese residency visa from the U.S. For more information on the process and how we can help, contact us today.